With apologies to The Fifth Beatle (depending on how you count the one who replaced Paul after he died) …
I wasn’t planning to do much today when I got up this morning (except prepare a presentation for work tomorrow). I wasn’t even planning to blog.
My plans changed when I got back from taking Nicki to work: That’s when I noticed the grass needs cutting. Again.
I know what you’re thinking: Don’t you have two teenage sons that could be doing that for you. Or at least that was what I was thinking. Indeed I do. But Austin worked a pretty long shift yesterday and I’ll probably let him off the hook. Garrett’s 13, and I might let him relieve me a little, but I’m not sure he’ll do it the way it I want it done.
So I see a day of pollen, aches and sweat ahead.
Which prolly is a good thing. Because it will keep me from gluing myself to the Master’s, which I would normally do.
I love watching the Master’s. The course is beautiful, the drama is high, the player’s usually at their best. Augusta National is not too tough, nor is it too easy.
I watched a little yesterday, between errands and my normal goofing off, and I pretty much figured I’d watch more tonight while thinking about the ham and asparagus and creme brulee etc. to come.
Earl Scruggs’ death a few days ago affected me in a lot of ways. I was a fan, both of his Flatt & Scruggs work and the stuff that came afterwards.
I had to be. Every Saturday night, my Dad watched the Flatt & Scruggs show as part of a lineup that included Porter Wagoner, the Wilburn Brothers and, later, Hee Haw. My Dad loved country music, though he wouldn’t love much of today’s country music. He tended toward bluegrass, but he liked all kinds: He actually bought a couple of Buck Owens albums and played them on our old stereo till the grooves wore out.
My dad loved them all, those shows. He really enjoyed Porter Wagoner, though he’d get mad at Porter for putting his hands on Dolly Parton, whom he always had a crush on. He had more than a crush on Loretta Lynn, who was on the Wilburn Brothers show (my least favorite of all of them – though I liked Loretta’s parts of the show – just not the WilBros).
But Flatt and Scruggs were my favorites of the genre. Even at a young age, appreciated their craftsmanship on the guitar and banjo, respectively. And they seemed to have a sense of humor. I also really loved their appearances on The Beverly Hillbillies. The best one was when they serenaded Jethro’s mom with the classic, “Pearl, Pearl, Pearl.” With lyrics such as these: “Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, come be my loving girl; Don’t you marry Lester Flatt, He slicks his hair with possum fat, Change your name to Mrs. Earl Scruggs” and Lester’s comeback: “Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, you’ll get no love from Earl; This here man is such a sap, He won’t hold you on his lap; Unless you are an old 5-string banjo.”
Ah, the 5-string banjo. Which brings me to one of my life’s great regrets – and I don’t have many. In the later years of his life, my Dad always said he wanted a banjo. I was a poor journalist (I know, redundant) and could never get him one.
I’m really sorry, Dad.
I watched To Kill a Mockingbird last night. Again. I’ve seen more than 10 times, for sure. It’s definitely in my Top 5 movies (and books) of all time.
When Tom Robinson got convicted, I cried. As usual. The injustice of it all.
I applaud USA for showing it, and making a big deal of it. Its message of tolerance and doing the right thing is much needed right now.
The fact that Tom’s trial doesn’t have a happy ending, that Bob and Mayella Ewell don’t crack on the stand and yell, “You’re damn right I ordered a Code Red,” makes it more effective. The fact that Atticus vows to continue to do the right thing and work toward tolerance makes it more effective. The hurt on Scout and Jem and Dill’s faces makes it more effective.
It will go ’round in circles, after all.
It’s hard to watch that message of tolerance and then watch the mustards at Augusta National as they continue to try to be exclusive. In all the worst ways.
What’s even worse is to hear all the people who defend Augusta National – which doesn’t bother to defend itself. “It’s a private club, let ’em do what they want.” “Men have to have a place to get away.” “They let women in there; now make me a pimiento cheese sandwich.”
It all sounds hauntingly familiar: Like the arguments used to exclude blacks from the club.
And, of course, most of the people making the arguments wouldn’t be allowed on Augusta National to make the egg salad or pimiento cheese or even mow the grass. They just think they’re being cool. Which, comes to think of it, is probably the reason people exclude others, anyway.
Hate ain’t cool. Intolerance ain’t cool.
And, to tell the truth, I guess I ain’t cool. Because I’ll probably watch the Masters today.
Make that another regret.
“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” _ Henry David Thoreau
“Don’t look back all you’ll ever get is the dust from the steps before …” _ She & Him